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EDA opens 2019 Regional Innovation funding cycle

The Economic Development Administration is now accepting applications for the Regional Innovation Strategies program through April 4. Funding is available through the i6 Challenge, focused on transforming innovations into products and services, and Seed Fund Support, to help expand the availability of investment capital for startups. SSTI will again be hosting an informational webinar with EDA — see details and register below.

Regional Innovation Strategies program FY 2019 informational webinar
Tuesday, Feb. 12 @ 2 P.M. EST

Tech Talkin’ Govs part 5: Tax incentives, clean energy, help for higher ed strike note in governors' addresses

More than half of the governors have now delivered their state of the state addresses, and TBED initiatives continue to play a prominent role in their plans. Higher ed’s affordability and/or role in the workforce are concerns in Montana, South Carolina, Utah and Vermont. Maryland is looking at clean energy and higher education. Utah is also grappling with burgeoning growth while Vermont considers measures to increase its workforce.

DOE announces intent to issue funding opportunity for cybersecurity institute for energy efficient manufacturing

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) announced their intent to issue a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) establishing a new Clean Energy Manufacturing Innovation Institute. The institute will develop technologies that will advance U.S. manufacturing competitiveness, energy efficiency and innovation.

SBA: Small business share of GDP continues structural decline

The share of the nation’s economy stemming from small businesses — “the lifeblood of the U.S. economy” — has waned since 1998, according to a new report by Kathryn Kobe and Richard Schwinn on behalf of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy. Despite overall growth in small business GDP, the number of small businesses and their employment levels have not yet recovered from their pre-recession value.

Startup Act reintroduced, would expand federal innovation support

Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.), co-signed by Senators Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), re-introduced the Startup Act today. The bill would enact an array of innovation policies, including reauthorizing Regional Innovation Strategies, creating a new commercialization grant program, and implementing a startup visa. SSTI has endorsed the bill and hopes to see the legislation passed by the 116th Congress.

Recent Research: Identifying peer states for technology-based economic development

While competition between states over business incentives and headquarters attraction is often derided, new research published in the Journal of Technology in Society suggests that competition in technology-based economic development is hardly a zero-sum game.

Tech Talkin’ Govs part 4: Opportunity Zones, workforce development, tech hubs, and more in governors plans to build economies

Governors are reaching into their toolkits to build tech-based economies, utilizing Opportunity Zones, tax credits, broadband infrastructure and workforce development initiatives among other things. This week, as we continue to review their state of the state addresses for TBED news, we see some governors still trying to reshape their states’ struggling economies while others are building on past successes and proposing new initiatives.

Useful Stats: NSF SBIR Success Rates by State (2008-2017)

The National Science Foundation (NSF), the fifth largest distributor of SBIR awards among federal agencies, received more than 20,000 proposals over the decade long period from 2008 to 2017, approving more than 3,600 (16.8 percent), according to an SSTI analysis of NSF data. NSF SBIR awards are the least concentrated of all federal agencies, as measured by share of awards going to firms with more than 10+ awards.

Racial wealth divide: Why being neutral is not enough

How likely would you be to leave your current job to form a startup if you had $3,600 in the bank? Would your interest increase if you had $147,000? While neither amount is enough to scale a business, the latter case obviously affords more cushion to learn the ropes or absorb the impacts of a few missed paychecks. These amounts are the median wealth for black and white households, respectively, according to a new report by the Institute for Policy Studies. While the report does not directly look to entrepreneurship as a factor — nor, notably, as a solution — the implications for regional innovation economies are clear.

Useful Stats: VC investments nearly triple in past six years; 31 states outperformed 5-year average for dollars invested in 2018

Over the six-year period from 2013 to 2018, as total venture capital investments nearly tripled, growing from $47.5 billion in 2013 to nearly $131 billion in 2014, the number of deals increased by just 13.5 percent according to new data from the NVCA-PitchBook Venture Capital Monitor. The $131 billion in total VC investments in 2018 is the largest amount since PitchBook began tracking the data in 2006 and the first year since the height of the dot-com boom that annual capital investment eclipsed $100 billion.

US Dept. of Ed rethinking higher education

A rulemaking committee, convened by the U.S. Department of Education, has begun work to rethink higher education and is considering ways to refine and streamline the accreditor recognition process and role, while also reviewing regulatory areas affecting innovation in higher education.

Student loan debt, urban wage premiums drive rural brain drain

When it comes to paying off student loan debt, rural individuals who move to metro areas fare better than those who stay, according to new research from PJ Tabit and Josh Winters of the Federal Reserve Board’s Division of Consumer and Community Affairs. Using panel data from Equifax and the New York Fed, the authors explore the relationship between the student loan balances of rural millennials and where they choose to live when they begin repayment. Their analysis offers a deeper understanding of the rural brain drain phenomenon and approaches to addressing the challenge.

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